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Compliance Updates

BHA: Statement from Julie Harrington on Financial Risk Checks Parliamentary Debate

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Julie Harrington, Chief Executive of the British Horseracing authority, has issued the following statement after the announcement by the Petitions Committee that a Parliamentary debate will take place on 26 February 2024 to consider the implementation of financial risk checks for bettors. This followed a petition on the subject surpassing 100,000 signatures.

“We are pleased that the important issue of affordability checks will now be subjected to proper levels of parliamentary scrutiny.

“The fact that our survey reached the required 100,000 signatures threshold in just 27 days is powerful testament to the strength of feeling shared by bettors over the proposed checks. This has today been recognised by the Petitions Committee.

“No other form of leisure activity is subjected to the kinds of restrictions being proposed by the Government and so it is right that MPs have the chance to forensically debate this issue.

“The BHA and other racing stakeholders will work with MPs on both sides of the House to ensure that the views of British racing and those who bet on the sport are properly represented within the debate.

“While we support the need to protect individuals from the risk of gambling-related harm it remains the case that millions of people enjoy betting on horseracing without suffering any ill effects.

“The BHA will therefore continue to push for changes to the Gambling Commission’s proposals on affordability checks to protect the sport’s financial future and limit the impact on racing bettors.”

Australia

VGCCC Fines BlueBet AU$50,000 for Gambling Advertising Breaches

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BlueBet has been fined AU$50,000 by the Victorian Gambling and Casino Control Commission (VGCCC) for breaching gambling advertising regulations.

The company was found guilty of 43 charges related to displaying gambling advertisements on or above public roads, contravening the Gambling Regulation Act 2003.

The charges stemmed from an investigation initiated by VGCCC, following a complaint from a member of the public. The breaches occurred over a two-week period in August and September 2022, with BlueBet’s gambling advertisements appearing on digital billboards at various locations, including Point Cook, Laverton, Rockbank and Ravenhall.

Magistrate Greg Thomas, overseeing the case, expressed scepticism about BlueBet’s defence that it was unaware of the breaches, given the strategic placement of the billboards to target males aged 15-54 years old. While no conviction was recorded, Magistrate Thomas noted the high degree of negligence exhibited by BlueBet.

VGCCC CEO Annette Kimmitt AM said: “Gambling advertising has no place on public roads where it is readily visible to children and other vulnerable groups. These places are especially difficult to avoid as part of day-to-day activities. This decision sends a clear message to wagering providers that flout these protections for our community.”

Although Magistrate Thomas considered imposing a higher fine and recording a conviction, he took into account BlueBet’s guilty plea, cooperation with VGCCC and measures taken to prevent future breaches. BlueBet has implemented changes to prevent similar incidents and has cooperated with VGCCC throughout the process.

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Compliance Updates

MGA: Updated Non-Profit Tombola and Lottery Application Requirements

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The Malta Gaming Authority has published updated documents outlining the application process and requirements. This includes the revised list of documents required as enclosures with the application for the Non-Profit Tombola, as well as for the Non-Profit Lotteries, which can also be found in the “documents” section on the permits application page.

The revised documents include more detail on the application process, what the Non-Profit Lottery Terms should consist of, as well as a detailed list of enclosure documents.

Although applicants are urged to refer to the revised requirements at the earliest, these requirements will come into force from 1 May 2024. Hence, any applications submitted following this date will need to abide by the revised requirements. Any applications submitted after 1 May 2024, which are not submitted in full and do not include the proof of payment or the signed declaration, will be set to a one-time “Incomplete” mode for sixty (60) days. If the application is not resubmitted in full, whereby any missing sections and/or documents are filled in and/or uploaded successfully within this period, the application will be rejected and will be closed off. Applications submitted or re-submitted less than seven (7) days prior to the commencement of the tombola session/s will incur the additional twenty-five Euro (€25) non-refundable late application fee.

The Non-Profit Tombola and the Non-Profit Lottery Permits will only be issued upon successful review of the application. Sale of lottery tickets or Tombola sessions cannot be held without the relevant Permit.

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Compliance Updates

DGA: Three Orders and One Reprimand Issued to Mr. Green Limited for Breach of the Anti-Money Laundering Act

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On April 10th, 2024, the Danish Gambling Authority has issued three orders to Mr. Green Limited for breaching the Anti-Money Laundering Act, on risk assessment, on procedures for internal controls and for failing to ensure that controls are carried out.

On April 10th, 2024, the Danish Gambling Authority has also given Mr. Green Limited a reprimand for breaching the rules on notification in the Anti-Money Laundering Act.

The reactions have been given in connection with the Danish Gambling Authority’s inspection of Mr. Green Limited’s materials that Mr. Green Limited has provided for compliance with the Anti-Money Laundering Act.

Order for insufficient risk assessment

Order (a) is issued because Mr. Green’s risk assessment is insufficient, as no separate risk assessment has been made of the individual identified risks associated with Mr. Green’s business model, including payment solutions, and the risk factors associated with it. It follows from section 7(1) of the Anti-Money Laundering Act that undertakings subject to the Act must identify and assess the risk that the undertaking may be misused for money laundering or terrorist financing. The Danish Gambling Authority’s assesses that the risk assessment must include a separate assessment of the risk of the individual payment solutions and delivery channels, as well as a separate risk assessment of the risk factors associated with these. Thus, Mr. Green did not comply with the risk assessment obligation.

Order for insufficient and lack of business procedures

Order (b) is issued because Mr. Green Limited does not have adequate procedures for internal controls, as these do not describe the interval at which controls should be performed. The order has also been given because Mr. Green Limited does not have written procedures on how to monitor that controls are carried out. It follows from section 8(1) of the Anti-Money Laundering Act that undertakings subject to the Act must have adequate written business procedures, which must include internal control. The business procedures should describe how the listed areas are handled in practice. The requirement for internal control also means that there must be controls of whether the controls are being carried out – in other words, that the controls are being checked. Mr. Green Limited has not sufficiently complied with the commitments on business procedures for controls.

Order for lack of documentation of controls

Order (c) is issued because Mr. Green Limited has not documented that controls have been carried out to verify that the internal controls have been performed. It follows from section 8(1) of the Anti-Money Laundering Act that undertakings subject to the Act must document the controls that have been carried out. Thus, Mr. Green Limited has not complied with the obligations to perform controls to ensure that the internal controls are performed.

Reprimand for not making an immediate notification

Reprimand (a) is given because Mr. Green Limited has in two cases not complied with the requirement for immediate notification to the Money Laundering Secretariat. According to section 26(1) of the Anti-Money Laundering Act, an undertaking must immediately notify the Money Laundering Secretariat if the undertaking knows, suspects or has reasonable grounds to suspect that a transaction, funds or activity is or has been related to money laundering or terrorist financing. Mr. Green has not complied with the notification obligations, as there has been no immediate notification.

Duty to act

The orders entail an obligation to act on the part of Mr. Green Limited. Mr. Green Limited must submit a revised risk assessment within June 10th, 2024.

Mr. Green must also within June 10th, 2024, submit a revised business procedure for internal controls and submit prepared business procedures for how the implementation of controls is monitored.

Mr. Green Limited must also submit documentation within October 10th, 2024, that it has been controlled that the controls have been carried out.

The reprimand does not entail any obligation to act on the part of Mr. Green Limited as the breach no longer exists.

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